Rating: 4 🌈
With The Kite, N.R. Walker dips her hand into the ever popular trope of the warring/competing top assassins who, for whatever reason, have to work together in order to survive.
Their relationship goes from enemies who admire each other’s skills to friendship then love as they fight for survival. It’s a great trope. And it works for so many reasons. Whether it’s in the movies, being streamed through a series, or through the various novels I’ve read recently.
There’s action, suspense, two hot highly skilled people at the height of their careers , in this case men. Gorgeous, of course. Each damaged by their pasts, albeit in different ways.
It’s how each author takes this trope and puts their spin on it that interests me.
Walker’s assassin are hit men for the government, instead of being private contractors. Well, one is. Taking on assignments that eliminates the “bad guy”. He thinks he’s being the good guy.
Tim “Harry” Harrigan, a truly giant of a man, works for the Australian government. Not that he’s been home for a while. For years he’s been the sniper called on to take out high level targets. Make a hit, move on.
But now he’s getting tired, not slow, but the lifestyle is wearing on him. Harry’s weary frame of mind coupled with setting up a hit gives the reader a good idea of his personality at the moment.
Especially when it looks that Harry is now the hunted instead of the hunter.
The assassin to come to Harry’s aid is Asher Garin. Asher is a hitman for hire, top in his field. The reason he’s there is because they are both targets on everyone’s list now.
The exciting way they are brought together, the high action and swift acknowledgment of each other under extraordinary circumstances is so much fun to read.
Their personalities are less defined, very much the Grumpy/Sweet tag that’s employed. The layers come later as the men flee from one destination to another, trusting each other, and the real reason behind their names on a kill list gets revealed. It’s betrayal, greed, and , double crosses.
The story moves rapidly. The sex is of the angry/hot type, and the dynamics between Harry and Asher go from slow to incendiary, dislike to love.
There’s more to this, including another main-ish character that’s an enigma for most of the story. Totally charming, however. We could have done with more of him in his “Charlie” voice stage.
Overall, I found this entertaining and a quick romance/adventure read. Walker’s characters never actually came across as heartless professional assassins. So making Henry a ex-soldier who believes he’s acting for the benefit of his government helps in her character creation. Same goes for Asher. It’s never laid out exactly what he does and who he kills for. Just he has a talent for languages and a very damaged childhood. So he too doesn’t feel like a hitman for hire. Are they killing people? Yes, but those are the bad guys. That’s expected.
I believed in the men, if not exactly their professed careers as it were.
One other odd element. Walker throws in a reoccurring dream (twice) from Asher, a weirdness who’s reappearance at the end is just so out of the type of story this was supposed to be that’s it’s immediately noticeable. It almost had a narrative whiplash effect. A spiritual woowoo, yes, we were always supposed to be together thing. What? In a killers find love action story? This paranormal aspect doesn’t happen anytime except this once so why do it at all?
It’s like Walker couldn’t help herself, was writing a whole other book. That was a SMH moment here. Took me right out of the story.
So, elements like those aside. The Kite has a satisfying ending for the criminal and a heartwarming HEA for the couple.
If anyone could make them disappear, Four could.
And if Walker wanted to make them all reappear for a sequel, well , that works too.
If you’re a fan of this author and a lover of this type of storylines, here’s a book for you.
https://www.goodreads.com › showThe Kite by N.R. Walker – Goodreads
Ex-Australian Specialist Response Group leader, Tim “Harry” Harrigan, has been running covert ops for almost a decade. A lone wolf, he’s single-handedly taken down terrorists and national security threats, or so he thinks. He’s been in the game far too long, and when he sees a familiar threat, he knows his time is up.
Asher Garin is a dangerous man. A man without loyalty, a man without a nationality, without a country, without a home. He’s also a mercenary for hire to the highest bidder. His next job is a face he recognises, and after a tip-off, he learns he too is a marked man.
It’s a different game now, and Harry and Asher have a better chance at surviving if they stick together. But it’s not just the game or the rules that have changed. The stakes have too.
Because on their own, they had nothing to lose. Together, they do.
Unless it’s noted, all books reviewed have been purchased by the reviewer.